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Susanville Man Helps Rescue Elderly Woman in Richmond Road Fire

The fire department is crediting Susanville resident Mike Morales with climbing up a balcony, battling extreme heat and smoke conditions, and carrying an elderly woman to safety in a residential fire early New Year’s Eve.

According to Fire Captain Brad Medvin, the Susanville Fire Department responded at around 3:00a.m. Monday morning to a structure fire at 412 Richmond Road. Initial reports stated that there was a person trapped on the second floor.

Upon arrival, fire personnel found heavy fire conditions in the rear of the house, spreading quickly. Both elderly occupants were found safe and transported by the Susanville Police Department to Banner Lassen Medical Center for treatment of minor smoke inhalation.

The trapped occupant was pulled to safety by Mike Morales.

Medvin, in a report issued this morning, said Mr. Morales happened to be in the area when he heard the male occupant, who had already evacuated the house, call for help.

The elderly man said that he and his wife were sleeping in an upstairs bedroom when he was awaken by a loud pop and the smoke detectors. He exited the room and found that the stairway to the first floor was already on fire. He and his wife exited their bedroom onto the balcony where the he was able to lower himself to the rear yard but was unable to assist his wife. That’s when he started yelling for help.

“Mr. Morales heard the calls and went into action,” explains Captain Medvin, “With no regard for his own personal safety, Mr. Morales climbed up the balcony, battling extreme heat and smoke conditions and carried the female to safety.”

Both occupants were placed in a police patrol vehicle to stay warm and later transported to the hospital.

Firefighters fought heavy fire conditions and near zero temperatures, at times freezing hose lines, nozzles, and equipment. The house suffered extensive damage, but the two houses, one each side of the fire, were saved due to the efforts of the firefighters. No firefighters were injured during the incident.

An investigation is in progress to determine the cause of the conflagration.

Additional assistance was provided by the Susan River Fire District, the Janesville Fire District, the Susanville Police Department, LMUD, Susanville Public Works, CHP, Lassen County Office of Emergency Services, and the Red Cross.

The Susanville Fire Department would like to remind everyone to know two ways out of your house and practice your home evacuation plan.

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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